Monday, September 9, 2013

Wild Dagga Medicine Is The Motherwort For Pollinators

 Leonotis leonurus (Wild Dagga, Lion's Tail)

Many people here in the states may know Wild Dagga or Lion's Tail by it's name "Motherwort." It is another one of the fantastic herbs from the mint family.

Wild Dagga loves our Texas heat and thrives during drought. The plants have benefited by a little supplemental watering and minimal composting. 

I've been busy naturalizing it in my garden because it is a major herb to grow for all of our pollinators. Birds, Hummingbirds, Bees and Butterflies are drawn in by its wagging Lion's Tail Blooms.

I've found this herb growing 7 ft. and maybe even taller in parts of my garden. 

It is turning out to be a hardy permacultural plant. It both provides partial shade for other herbs and plants to grow beneath during our hottest summer months.

Motherwort is native to the regions of Southern Africa. It was prized by the Hottentot, Zulu, Xhosa and Khoikhoi tribes who utilized every part of this herb for medicinal purposes.

The African Tribes both smoked the Wild Dagga as well as make it into a brewed tea and poultice. 

Motherwort was applied for the treatment of snake bites and scorpions stings. They used the dried leaves, roots, stalks and flowers to make a poultice to apply to the wounds.

The tribes women sprinkle the dried herb around their dwellings to help ward off snakes and scorpions too.

While it's medicinal benefits contain such a long list, I've tried to compile a short one for you.

For the treatment of Coughs, colds, influenza and chest infections
Delayed menstruation
Intestinal worms
Spider bites and scorpion stings
An antidote for snakebite
Relief of Hemorrhoid's
Skin rashes and boils

I'm finding this a fascinating herb, well worth the effort to grow in our southern region. 

As fall is approaching I am beginning to take cuttings to dry indoors. 

I may try sprinkling a bit around the homestead as the Native African Tribes women do in hopes to help keep the poisonous snakes, spiders and scorpions at bay. 

Happy Gardening!



  1. Can you suggest a reputable place from which to purchase plants?

    1. I grew this from seed so I'm not sure who would carry plants. They start easily with seed tho xo